Historians have long claimed that the newspaper printers of the American Revolution were instrumental in bringing about Independence. By focusing solely on the written words left behind by these men, however, researchers have erroneously believed the printers belonged exclusively to either the patriot or Tory camps. The masthead symbols chosen by the printers to represent their newspapers offer a more objective measure of their partisan affiliations than a textual analysis of the content. The printers marked major changes in their political ideologies by inserting and deleting political symbols in their newspaper mastheads. This study examines the use and meanings of these engravings, arguing that the symbols best represent the personal views of the printers. The study of masthead designs will help historians better understand Colonial printers and their progress toward their ultimate political affiliation.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Linford, Autumn Lorimer, "Royal Images and Rebel Ideals: Contradictory Symbols in American Revolutionary Newspaper Nameplates" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 1769.
American Revolution, Colonial press, masthead design, engravings, newspaper, Revolutionary printers